Thanks for visiting my website, I'm Mel from Manukau, New Zealand.
I began quilting in 2004 when I found a magazine at my local bookstore, and fell in love with the cover quilt.. the rest, they say, is history.
I create custom made quilts for friends and family, from baby comforters to double bed covers and art quilts. I love to personalise them so they all tend to be a little different. I’m not sure you could sum up my style, like my taste in music, its a bit eclectic. I do tend towards applique and freemotion quilting when I begin thinking about my design process, I love to push the boundaries in the way I think about things.
In the past I have had a market stall selling various smaller sewn items. I’ve joined the Auckland Patchworkers and Quilters Guild a couple of times over the years.
My weapons of choice are a Brother Innovis NV400 for piecing and blanket stitch applique (and other decorative stitching). I also have a semi-industrial Brother mid-arm, the PQ1500s, for piecing and freemotion quilting (the equivalent machines in America I think would be the Babylock Melody and Jane respectively)
When I design my more complex pieces I use illustrative programs (like inkscape) where I can be super accurate when planning the quilt dimensions and take my time developing the custom applique images. I must confess though, I have only followed a full quilt pattern, that I haven’t made myself, once. Although I do have a mass of books, magazines and good intentions!
I grew up drawing or painting, and continue to fill my notebooks with sketches still. My other love is geography and geology which eventually became my livelihood. I have a full time job in GIS (mapping) with a background in CAD, cartography and general GIS analysis. I would love to create a map quilt at some stage, I’ve seen a few out there in blog land already, but I’ve got a couple of ideas in my head that are busting to get out..
Unfortunately there are about a hundred more ideas for quilts that would just die *insert girly squeal here* if I didn’t get a chance to make them.. ones in the pipeline include Space Invaders (how fitting that it is one of my UFO’s) and a Gnome/Kabouter based woodland theme.
My dream is to one day own a quilting frame for my mid-arm machine. I’d love to work on my freemotion quilting skills (and confidence) more in the future. And one day to make quilts on commission, now that would be awesome!
My short term goals are to continue developing my website, I’d like to include reviews and complete a section that will show and explain the steps of how to make a quilt (as much for myself as for others wanting to get started). Oh and I have a pipe dream of being a fabric designer!
When I’m not quilting or looking at quilting things on the net, I’m spending time with my husband and son. Oh, and by the way, my fav music bands are the Eagles, Iron Maiden, Jack Johnson, Prodigy and Pink! (I told you I can’t make up my mind! I love them all)
I'd love to hear what you think and see what you're up to, so please leave me a comment below, or say hi on my blog posts, alternatively, send me a private message under the "contact me" tab on my home page.
So, make a cuppa tea and stick around for a while..
Nicky - Hi Mel, I've just read some of your story in the recent Sharing Magazine. Your quilting is seriously inspiring.
6th June 2014
Robin - I just read your review for the Brother nouvelle 1500s sewing machine, which I also have and love. I am about to quilt a full sized quilt and decided to do straight lines. The walking foot does not have a bar with it to easily space lines once you have stitched the first one. The seam guide does not seem to work with the walking foot on. Do you have any experience/suggestions or am I just not working it correctly or thinking it through correctly?! Thanks for any suggestions! (Robin, I don't have your email, but if you read this, I would suggest using painters masking tape, easily removable and reusable, just buy the thickness of tape that you need for your spacing and stitch along side the tape with your walking foot, also, remember to use lots and lots of pins if you are pin basting!)
19th June 2014
Patricia - I love your website and all the creative pictures and ideas you are sharing with your fans. I have also checked out Ivory Spring and that website is super cool as well. Thank You so much for all you do to inspire all of us who have viewed your website and blog. It is much appreciated!
11th September 2014
Sheila - Just read your review on the Nouvelle 1500s and am so glad I did.I bought mine at a yard/estate sale. It had only been used a short time she sold the quilting frame with it. I always wanted to do quilting whether it be by hand or machine. I tried a few quilts on a regular sewing machine with a walking foot but was not pleased with the out come. Hand quilting took too long because I couldn't get the knack of rocking the needle to catch stitches. Hopefully this will be the way to go. I may need some advice from time to time so consider me your pest in the making lol. I think your page is wonderful and your work is beautiful. Happy days ahead quilting.
28th September 2014
Joy - I so enjoyed your review of "our" machine, the Brother. I have had so many quilters ask me what machine I use when complementing me on my work and when I respond, they are so surprised it is just a Brother. And yes it does have a beautiful stitch.
My story of buying mine is/was not as deliberate as yours. I had gone to a sewing expo, a very large exhibit that had many venders there, so all at one time I tried all the differnt brands including those you listed. I was not sure if it was the wonderful and knowlegable sales lady that showed me the Brother, but I just loved it!!! And coming from limited means, I could not afford to buy new, so I went on ebay to scope one out. I found one that a woman had bought with the intent to put on a frame for quilting and found it too difficult. So she sold it, like brand new, $500 delivered. That i could afford. Everything was there and wrapped in the original packaging. lovely. Buying blind on ebay can go either way, I was lucky. But I love your decription of our machine, it is easy and a work horse. Not alot on there to break. My favorite. Thanks, I enjoyed your review. Joy